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Health Care, Commodities send Canadian stock market lower
Last Updated: 2017-03-08 10:38 | Xinhua
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Canada's main stock market in Toronto finished slightly down on Tuesday, as declines in health care stocks, gold, copper and crude oil all contributed.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite slipped 20.97 points, or 0.13 percent, to end the session at 15,608.78 points. Eight of the ten sub-groups lost ground on the day.

The TSX Health Care sector was hit the hardest on the day after United States President Donald Trump tweeted that he was working on a new system which will see prices in the drug industry 'come way down.'

As a result, Quebec-based drugmakers Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. saw shares plunge 5.78 percent to 15.70 Canadian dollars (11.70 U.S. dollars) and 4.18 percent to 2.29 Canadian dollars (1.71 U.S. dollars), respectively. Overall, the health care sub-group slipped 2.72 percent on the day, a five-week low.

The Materials and Energy groups also contributed, with respective declines of 0.63 percent and 0.50 percent.

The Materials group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials continued its recent slump to fall to a nine-week low. The group has closed lower in eleven of the last 16 trading days where it is down a combined 11.40 percent.

The spot price of gold slipped to a four-week low as an interest rate increase in expected in next week's United States Federal Reserve meeting.

An ounce of bullion fell 9.50 U.S. dollars (0.78 percent) to 1,215.60 U.S. dollars. Toronto-based Yamana Gold Inc. declined 0.59 percent to 3.37 Canadian dollars (2.51 U.S. dollars) and was the most actively traded stock on the day with more than 9.9 million shares traded.

Also contributing were Kinross Gold and Barrick Gold, retreating 1.13 percent and 0.96 percent, respectively.

Copper also took a breaking, slumping 1.66 percent to a 6-week low of 2.6134 U.S. dollars a pound. Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. shares collapse 14.97 percent to 1.59 Canadian dollars (1.19 U.S. dollars).

Meanwhile, Ivanhoe Mines and Lundin Mining saw respective declines of 5.29 percent and 4.39 percent.

The TSX Energy group fell for the first time in five sessions, as the price of Brent crude oil for May delivery ticked down 0.20 percent to 55.89 U.S. dollars a barrel.

Calgary-based Encana Corporation slipped 1.82 percent to close the day at 15.08 Canadian dollars (11.24 U.S. dollars) a share. Group members Cenovus Energy and Canadian Natural Resources also saw shares dwindle 1.10 percent and 1.03 percent, apiece.

The remaining groups to lose ground on Tuesday were: Industrials (0.45 percent), Consumer Staples (0.20 percent), Telecommunications (0.14 percent), Financials (0.14 percent), and Consumer Discretionary (0.08 percent).

The two groups that managed to finish ahead on the day were Utilities and Information Technology, gaining 0.66 percent and 0.14 percent, respectively.

Contributing to the gain in Utilities sector was Calgary-based Canadian Utilities Limited shares advancing 3.05 percent to 38.16 Canadian dollars (28.44 U.S. dollars).

The Canadian dollar inched down 0.03 cents to close the day at 0.7454 U.S. dollars.

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